What Is A Short Term Marriage And What Is The Legal Significance?

By Robin Roshkind, Esquire, West Palm Beach, Florida

Marriages fall into several categories and depending upon the category, there are legal ramifications.  A marriage can be short term, middle of the road or long term.

In Palm Beach County, Florida, a short term marriage is approximately 1 to 5 years as defined by the case law.   If a spouse is seeking alimony support, the fact that the marriage is short term may work against that spouse.   Also, with regard to prenuptial agreements, if a marriage ends in the short term, a spouse may be better off without a prenuptial agreement than if there is one giving the other spouse a pay out.  In short term marriages, alimony is rarely given by the court, especially where the requesting spouse is employed or employable.

In 5 to 13 year marriages, this is called a gray area, and alimony awards depend upon other facts and circumstances in addition to the length of the marriage.

For those marriages that lasted longer than 14 years, the courts view those as long term marriages.  If a spouse has not worked during that time, or makes substantially less money than the other spouse, the court is likely to give either lump sum or permanent alimony.

There are many other factors a court considers in awarding alimony.  But the length of the marriage is very significant.  For more information about this or other divorce topics, call one of the divorce lawyers at ROBIN ROSHKIND, P.A. at 561-835-9091 or click on the Firm’s web site at http://www.familylawwpb.com.


2 thoughts on “What Is A Short Term Marriage And What Is The Legal Significance?

  1. I got married on March 23rd, 2001. Separated on March 3rd, 2007. Petition for divorce filled on January 21st 2008. We had never co mingled any monies, she and I had and paid all our own bills. She works as a realtor making about 1200.00/mo. I make significantly more than she. Should I be looking at paying alimony to this women? I heard about some new Florida law describing a “Short marriage” is now 7 years or less. If this is so, would I have a good chance to appeal a judges decision that ruled I pay lump sum and durational alimony for 5 years? He also was made aware of a clirical error of the date of filing that would prove it was a short term marriage instead of a moderate term but declined our motion to re affirm and correct the date to make it correct!!

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